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Re: Potato to Woody dist-upgrade problems

On Mon, 21 Jan 2002, Andreas Metzler wrote:

> Theodore Tso <tytso@thunk.org> wrote:
> >>>> Wrong.  The X server does not depend on locally installed fonts.  Read
> >>> It refused to run locally without them. That sounds like a dependency to
> >>> me.
> >> Perhaps you should check your hearing.  Install xfonts-base on a
> >> reachable remote host, install xfs on that host, configure xfs to listen
> >> on the TCP port by editing /etc/X11/fs/config, and add a line to the
> >> Files section of your X server config file:
> >>       FontPath        "tcp/remote.host.org:7100"
> > Um.... if a user needs to do the above to get X working on their
> > system after taking a working Potato system, and upgrading to Woody,
> > then Debian is completely useless for the naive user, and there's no
> > way I can recommend that Debian is ready for anyone other than an
> > expert.  
> [...]
> You completely missed the point. Branden did not say that this was
> necessary to get X running but he showed a valid working
> example-configuration of X running without _locally_ installed
> X-fonts which clearly shows that X does not depend on _locally_
> installed X-fonts. Therefore it is evident that xserver-xfree86.deb
> must not depend on xfonts-base.

Well, I completely understand Branden's position on the dependency, and it
isn't his fault that our dependencies don't cover all the bases, but you
have all ignored the situation that actually exists on my laptop. It has
NO permanent connection to the net. It is, for most of its useful life, a
stand alone workstation without any outside server connections. Please
explain to me how this machine can run an X server without locally
provided fixed fonts! More to the point, I had the required fixed fonts
installed on the Potato system, why did they go away on an upgrade?

Just because you are connected, or even that the majority of you are
connected, to a wider network of useful servers, doesn't mean that
everyone one is, or that every circumstance will be in this blisfull
state. There are good and valid reasons to require a completely local X
installation where appropriate.

> Suggests: xfonts-base of xserver-common is the correct relation.

This is fine for the state that everyone seems to think of as universal,
but it isn't necessarily going to work for everyone. Adequate information
is not provided by a cryptic remark in a description field, or even a sly
note in a README file. Installation/upgrade difficulties are to be fixed,
or their work around well documented. In this particular case, I found the
FAQ to be quite adequate to my needs. In the other difficulties, I had to
rely on my own resources to find the responsible package and install it.

Having said all that, it appears (and I haven't tested this yet) that
installing the latest/greatest version of apt/dpkg will provide the
installation tools to make the correct decissions on an upgrade. That is,
none of these problems appear when apt and dpkg are upgraded before a
dist-upgrade. In past releases, the need to upgrade the installation tools
before the install have been heavily advertised. If that is the case here,
then it definitely needs to be made known at release time.


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